Graduation at Arrendale

Arrendale State Prison

Lee Arrendale State Prison is the largest state women's prison in Georgia and is located an hour north of Atlanta in the North Georgia mountains. Students will have the opportunity to provide pastoral care to incarcerated women, lead small groups and assist the chaplain with worship.

Please Note: Enrollment in this Con Ed I site will close on Thursday, August 8, in order to complete the Georgia Dept. of Corrections volunteer application by August 9. 

Following enrollment in this Con Ed I site, students must complete an online application process with the Georgia Dept. of Corrections. 

Site Work

Site work will be done on Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., followed by reflection group time. In addition, students will be required to preach and lead worship at least one Sunday during the year (at 8:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.), and will assist with Holy Week Services, which may fall outside of the standard Monday morning site hours. Students might have additional opportunities to work with the Lee Arrendale Children's Center Program, which occurs on the second Saturday of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Fall 2019 Reflection Group

Monday 1:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. at Lee Arrendale State Prison, led by Rev. Susan Bishop, Site Supervisor.

Spring 2020 Integrative Seminar

Wednesday 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. at Candler, led by Rev. Susan Bishop and Dr. Steffen Lösel

Pastoral Care Class

Students who enroll in the CEI group for Arrendale Prison will also enroll in Intro to Pastoral Care PC501CE 1 in the fall semester (Tuesday 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.), taught by Dr. Karen Scheib.

Faculty Academic Advisor

Dr. Steffen Lösel will serve as the academic advisor for Lee Arrendale students and will join the group for the spring Integrative Seminar.

Site Mission

To provide pastoral care and counseling, worship and ministry to a 1,700-bed correctional facility for female offenders. This also includes ministry to approximately 500 staff members and their families.

About the Site

The Chaplaincy Department at Lee Arrendale State Prison has a variety of programs. These include worship, religious education, music, dance ministry, pastoral therapy groups, ministry to inmates with mental health issues, postpartum issues inmates, inmates with chronic medical issues such as HIV, Hepatitis C and cancer, and substance abuse issues.

Demographics of female offenders in Georgia are as follows:
53% Caucasian
46.5% African American
5% Hispanic and/or Asian
80% or more have addiction and substance abuse issues
80% or more have physical, mental, sexual abuse issues
90% are mothers and/or grandmothers
The age range is between 13–80
The average age is between 25–35

Student Reflection

MDiv student Allison Henderson-Brooks reflects on her Contextual Education I experience at Arrendale State Prison during the 2016-2017 academic year.

Additional Requirements & Accessibility 

In addition to the criminal background check Candler requires of all admitted students, this site requires a criminal background check administered by the Georgia Department of Corrections. Depending on the results of the background check, fingerprinting may also be required. (The fingerprint process will cost less than $20). Students with a criminal conviction may not be eligible to work at this site. A TB test should be completed prior to orientation, and students should bring a copy of the results to the Con Ed I Introduction Day. A training session will be facilitated on August 27 (Con Ed I Intro Day) for all students enrolled at Arrendale from 1PM – 4PM. 

Transportation to the site is provided on Mondays. Students travel together by van between the campus and the prison, leaving early Monday morning and returning late Monday afternoon.  Including travel time, students who select this site should plan to be available from 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Mondays. For Sunday worship leadership and at other times, students in this group usually develop carpool arrangements to assist those without cars.

The site is very hilly and occupies a large footprint, and could be difficult for students with mobility issues.

Contact

Lee Arrendale State Prison
2023 Gainesville Hwy South
Alto, GA 30510 (Map)
Phone: 706.776.4700
Handicap Accessible: Y

Students must submit an online application by Friday, August 9.

Follow these steps to complete your application process:

Go to the Georgia Dept. of Corrections website and open Volunteer Services on the left side of the page; Click on the button under Director Turner’s picture to enter the application process. Watch the video and take notes; there will be a quiz after the video. Follow all prompts to complete the paperwork and hit submit. When the site informs you of the next training session, ignore the date. You will go as a group by van on August 27 at noon.

Contact carmen.toussaint@emory.edu with any questions about the application process. The volunteer manual should be reviewed before the orientation.

Site Supervisor

The Rev. Chaplain Susan Bishop has been a Correctional Clinical Chaplain with the Georgia Department of Corrections since 1984. She is a Candler graduate, has a master's degree in music education from Georgia State, and has been supervising Candler students since 1997. Susan is an ordained Southern Baptist clergywoman.
Phone: 706.776.4700